DNA REALTY GROUP's Blog
Once you have booked a trip to go away for awhile, you’re probably filled with excitement. Depending upon how long you’ll be away, there are a few things that you’ll want to do to get your home ready for your absence. The tips below can help you with everything from security and safety to saving some money on your utility bills.
Turn Off The Water
You don’t want to risk having a leak flood your home while you’re gone away on vacation. This is especially important if you’re going to be gone longer than a week. Homeowners insurance does cover water damage that occurs due to these types of leaks, but who want to deal with that after a relaxing vacation? Take precautions ahead of time before you go.
Stop Your Mail
The post office will hold your mail for free. Don’t risk letting people know that you haven’t been home for a few days by letting mail pile up in the box. Worse, if any packages come, it could be an invitation for them to get stolen. It only takes a few minutes to put the precaution of mail holding into place.
Put Your Lights On A Timer
A dark house is an invitation for thieves to come on in. You can deter burglars by putting your lights on a timer, allowing some activity to be seen from outside the home. A timer can even be set for different times during both the day and night.
Unplug Everything You Can
Aside from the time and a few lights, you can save on your energy bill by unplugging your electronics while your away. This includes toasters, computers, televisions, and microwaves. This is also a good safety precaution as well just in case an electrical fire were to happen while you’re gone.
Turn Down (Or Up) The Thermostat
Depending on the time of year that you go away, you’ll want to adjust your thermostats accordingly. Since no one will be in the house, there’s no need for freezing cold air conditioning or high heat. If you’re heading out on vacation in the winter, you’ll want to keep the heat on at a minimum temperature to help avoid pipes freezing and undue damage to your home.
Seal Up Your Food
When you head out on vacation, you might not be too concerned about the food you already have opened in your home. Pests will love to feast on it while you’re away! Be sure that you close up any food that’s open and get rid of anything that can spoil. This means discarding old produce, throwing away opened bread and pastries that can spoil and seal up cereal and cracker boxes tightly. This will ensure that you don’t have any unwanted house guests once you return home from your trip.
Want to acquire the perfect home at the perfect price? You're not alone. As such, you'll likely need to allocate significant time and resources to your home search if you hope to transform your dream into a reality.
Lucky for you, we're here to help you navigate the real estate market so you can move closer to purchasing a top-notch house at a budget-friendly price.
Now, let's take a look at three tips so you can buy your ideal home at a price that matches or exceeds your expectations.
1. Establish Realistic Homebuying Goals
Although you may have lofty dreams of purchasing a deluxe house quickly, it may take some time to find a house that fulfills your needs.
Setting realistic expectations for a home search is ideal for property buyers. With realistic goals, you may be able to avoid disappointments and frustrations along the homebuying journey.
Evaluating the current real estate market often offers a great way to help you map out your homebuying plans. This will enable you to examine the prices of assorted homes, determine which houses you like and define a price range for your ideal house.
Also, it never hurts to look at the prices of recently sold houses, either. This will allow you to see how quickly residences are selling and determine whether you're about to enter a buyer's or seller's market.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
You know that you want to own a house, but how do you intend to pay for it? Ultimately, you may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage – something that can help you accelerate your journey from homebuyer to homeowner.
Meet with banks and credit unions to learn about all of the mortgage options that are available. Then, you can choose a mortgage that will help you avoid the temptation to overspend to acquire your ideal home.
When you consult with banks and credit unions, be sure to ask plenty of mortgage questions as well. That way, you can learn about the ins and outs of various mortgage options and select a mortgage that suits you perfectly.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a housing market expert who is happy to help you make your homeownership dreams come true.
Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you informed about new residences as they become available and offer honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations. He or she will even negotiate with property sellers on your behalf, ensuring you can get the best price on any home, in any real estate market.
With a real estate agent at your side, you can receive expert guidance throughout the homebuying journey. In addition, a real estate agent will respond to your homebuying concerns and questions, guaranteeing you can make informed decisions time and time again.
Ready to acquire your dream home at your dream price? Use these tips, and you should have no trouble purchasing a terrific house without breaking your budget.
21 Tower Hill Road, North Reading, MA 01864
If you’re looking to gain some more enjoyment out of your home and your yard, installing a fire pit can be just the way to do that. It’s actually quite simple to install your own fire pit with the right materials and planning. Take a look at the steps we have laid out for you below.
What You’ll Need:
- A shovel
- Stones for the wall
- Stakes and string
- Spray paint
- Fire brick
- Landscape cloth
Choose Your Location
You’ll need to find a place in your yard that is far away from anything that can catch fire like bushes, sheds, trees, or tall grasses.
Plan Your Area
You’ll need to plan the area for your fire pit. Be sure that the area you choose has enough space. The fire pit itself requires about a 3 foot area of diameter. The outer wall will have a 5 foot diameter. Then you’ll need a 12 foot diameter circle sectioned off for the seating area around the fire pit itself. You can mark these areas off with string or spray paint.
Time To Dig
You’ll need to dig the footer for both the inner and outer walls of the fire pit. Dig between the 5 and 3 foot markers down about 5-6 inches into the ground. Then, fill the newly dug out ring with concrete. Ensure that the top is level and smoothed out. Wait for the concrete to set.
Organize Your Stones
While you’re waiting for your concrete to dry, find your stones and separate these into either cap stones or face stones. The cap stones are used for the top of the wall and the face stones are for the bottom. Cap stones should be flat and smooth.
Place Your Stones
Follow the outer edge of the ring that has been created. Complete the circle. Then, place a ring of fire brick around the inner ring. Continue this process as follows: an outer layer of stone, an inner layer of fire brick. Make sure that you’re keeping everything level throughout the process.
Fill In The Cracks
Using scrap stone and mortar, fill in the spaces of your completed wall. Before the wall is capped, you’ll want to make sure that it’s completely solid.
The Final Step
Now that your wall is solid and filled, you’ll need to place your cap stones. You may need to cut certain stones to be sure that everything fits in place for this part of your project. Once everything fits, mortar the stones into place.
Set Up Your Seating Area
Dig up the grass inside of the 12 foot circle that you have mapped out. Then, put down some landscape cloth. Fill the area with gravel for safety.
Enjoy Your Fire Pit
Now, all you need to do is add some comfy seating with some firewood and your fire pit is ready to enjoy! Heed safety recommendations placed by your city or town for a stress-free time using your fire pit.
A fire pit can be an asset to your home no matter where you live. Cool evenings call for great conversation by the fire anytime!